Introduction: Press Ganey (PG) scores are used by public entities to gauge the quality of patient care from medical facilities in the United States. Academic health centers (AHCs) are charged with educating the new generation of doctors, but rely heavily on PG scores for their business operation. AHCs need to know what impact medical student involvement has on patient care and their PG scores. Purpose: We sought to identify the impact students have on emergency department (ED) PG scores related to overall visit and the treating physician’s performance.
Methods: This was a retrospective, observational cohort study of discharged ED patients who completed PG satisfaction surveys at one academic, and one community-based ED. Outcomes were responses to questions about the overall visit assessment and doctor’s care, measured on a five-point scale. We compared the distribution of responses for each question through proportions with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) stratified by medical student participation. For each question, we constructed a multivariable ordinal logistic regression model including medical student involvement and other independent variables known to affect PG scores.
Results: We analyzed 2,753 encounters, of which 259 (9.4%) had medical student involvement. For all questions, there were no appreciable differences in patient responses when stratifying by medical student involvement. In regression models, medical student involvement was not associated with PG score for any outcome, including overall rating of care (odds ratio [OR] 1.10, 95% CI [0.90-1.34]) or likelihood of recommending our EDs (OR 1.07, 95% CI [0.86-1.32]). Findings were similar when each ED was analyzed individually.
Conclusion: We found that medical student involvement in patient care did not adversely impact ED PG scores in discharged patients. Neither overall scores nor physician-specific scores were impacted. Results were similar at both the academic medical center and the community teaching hospital at our institution.